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Qualifications for Pastor and Deacon

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If we were to screen potential pastors using 1 Timothy 3:8 as the guideline for that position, I highly doubt we'd find many, if at all any, who would pass the test.


However, God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.  He has made a way where there seemed to be no way.  Rather than look at the potential pastor through your own standards and opinions, try looking at him through the heart and mind of Christ.  Is he blameless in the world's eyes because of past sins committed before Salvation?  No.  But, if he's saved, he is forgiven.  As Jim pointed out, Saul/Paul was guilty of many heinous crimes against God and the Church.  He was the chief of sinners who admitted that there were times that he did evil even though he did not want to.  But, God used him mightily through it all.

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I don't know one way or the other.

I always thought "husband of one wife" meant you've only had one wife; ever. I know there is the exception of being "free" if your first wife passed away. But we had a pastor who didn't think that applied to preachers, took the husband of one wife" doctrine to extreme, and dropped a missionary's support because he remarried after his wife died. The passage is about "bishops" and "deacons": I don't think we have any "bishops" in IFB churches.

No, he wasn't, he was much more than that. But I used him as an illustration that those who have done much worse than divorce are never questioned. Paul killed Christians and still God counted him worthy to be put into the ministry. He did much more than pastor, he was an Apostle and started and confirmed churches.

The main point being that it is God who qualifies and equips men for the ministry, after all, it is His Grace that works these things out, not man's biased interpretation of what he "thinks" the Scripture means.

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I again bring up the issue of "one wife"/  "Divorced" has to be read into this passage to be there-it is not mentioned, even though the word 'divorce' is common in usage in scripture and I believe if it meant divorce, it would say divorce.  I have heard it said that multiple wives was a thing of the past at this point, yet in the middle east, as we well know, plural marriage is still practiced today in many countries, and I suspect it was more so then.

I again bring up with fact that when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in Samaria, He said to her, in John 4:18, "For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly". In Jesus words, she didn't HAVE five husbands, she 'hast HAD" five husbands. Now, maybe all her husbands had died, who knows, but the way Jesus is speaking, it sounds more like an indictment than just a women of her being a widow five times over. The fact that she was living with a man who was not her husband would also seem to challenge the widow idea. No, this woman HAD five husbands, yet Jesus didn't see them as still being her husbands-they are clearly no longer her husbands.

So to say that a man who is divorced and remarried is now the husband of TWO wives is again, to read into the verse something that is not there. If it meant divorced, I believe it would say divorced.

I went briefly to a church that taught that a divorced man is permanently tainted, and that in that church, he could attend, but he could have no part in any ministry. It was literally, sit down, shut up, and pay your tithe.  This was before my divorce, but I still didn't stay there. The subject of divorce has gotten so crazily out of hand in many IFB circles it really hurts our cause. There are so many good things about the standard IFB ideal, yet so much misused and falling, I wonder at times how long I will continue to use to name.

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